On the Matter of Time’s Passage

22 Avnkal, 2 Savsor

Submitted with Great Respect By

My Dear King Gikrik,

I hope my letter finds you in full health and vigor! I am most grateful for your commission and have undertaken it with diligence and excitement. Compiling the historical information of the previous age, and confirming, as best as possible in the time frame you had dictated, its accuracy, and amending where modern observations warranted, I have set out the most accurate accounting of time in Umbranthal’s grand history. 

Out of deference to your time, as I know matters of state keep you quite occupied, this letter is a brief summary of my findings, which have been checked by several Mages of Note who attest to the accuracy and validity of these reports. I will joyfully present to you, at such a time as you would wish, the full details of my observations and the reasoning and calculations which have led me to my conclusions. 

On Umbranthal 668 and one-half days pass from one winter’s solstice to the next. As it is inconvenient to account for a half day across such a wide expanse of land our solution is to divide our calendar into years of 669 and 668 days. In each decade we have six years of 669 days and four years with 668 days. This method of accounting provides us with the greatest consistency.

As in the past age there are 24 months, of seven days each. However, in order to unify the calendar and bring it into accord with the passage of Sol, we have sought to standardize the way we express the format of the days and months more explicitly.

Our days of the week remain unchanged from the common understanding: Soldan, Mandan, Tyrdan, Ondan, Tordan, Fredan, and Lordan.

Our months also remain unchanged in their naming and order: Jannar, Furnnar, Mannar, Avnnar, Marnar, Junnar, Juinnar, Anstnnar, Sevnnar, Obnnar, Nainnar, Donnar, Jankal, Furnkal, Mankal, Avnkal, Marnkal, Junkal, Juikal, Anstnkal, Sevnkal, Obnkal, Nainnkal, Donkal.

Where our modifications have been made, to enable standardization, is in the allotment of days per month. We have divided the year into four quarters. Each month has 28 days, except the last month of each quarter – Junnar, Donnar, and Junkal – which have 27 days. In our standard years the month of Donkal has 28 days, but in the four retrograde years of the decade it will only have 27 days. This is of course the unfortunate effect of imposing a structure that maintains the passage of light to dark each day as our basic unit of time. Would our people be able to possess highly accurate timepieces and calendars we could do away with such compromises. Alas even our most brilliant Artificers have yet to invent such wondrous tools.

Additionally, to maintain order, each month begins with the day Soldan. This of course means that in Junnar, Donnar, Junkal, and Donkal (in retrograde years) we will not observe Lordan. This will of course be an adjustment, however in short time the peoples should come to see the utility of having the first of each month begin on Soldan.

The epochs of time, Savsor, Vindsavsor, and Aptirsavsor will remain. We will set 1 Jannar, 1 Savsor as the day you secured the agreement of the many tribes to form our esteemed Kingdom. 

My Liege, I must confess we are, as yet, unable to predict if Savsor will be an eternal epoch. The universe is in constant flux, and our understanding of history, though lacking certain rigor, suggests that the age of Apitrsavsor may come again. This information should be closely held to the crown, I believe, as the uncertainty of what such an event might mean for the citizens and our lands could inspire much fear among the common people. As such we have not produced a calendar which suggests standards for the beginning of Vindsavsor or the recoming of Aptirsavsor. If you wish to discuss these possibilities I believe it would best be done in a private audience.

We recognize this organization of the calendar may require a time of adjustment for the citizenry. If I may be so bold as to offer a suggestion, to aid in the implementation of this undertaking, were the kingdom to host a formal day of celebration, proclaiming the new calendar, and set to employing, for a period of a decade, criers who might reside in the larger cities and villages to proclaim the passage of time, the adoption of the new calendar might happen more easily. Of course I bend to your better judgement on all such matters, and hope you will take my offered suggestion into consideration along with the wisdom of your other great and knowing advisors.

I remain, as ever your humble Servant.

Darian Runefell, Mage of Note.

A Brief History of Modern Umbranthal

From The Kingdom by Dorarsigit Forgeriver

I sit to compose this history on the 11th of Donnar in the 937th year of Savsor. The winter nights are long and lend themselves to quiet reflection and composition. I hope this summation will serve you well. While the scope of this work shall focus principally upon the Alhberg Kingdom, it’s history, formation, and the modern era, it is, I believe, best to ensure the readers possess a common framework for understanding our modern age and the prevailing political structures.

Perhaps it is best to begin before our age. Our bards tell stories of Vindsavsor – the age of warming winds and retreating ice – that foretold the coming of our current age. It’s often said that the sight of a squirrel gathering nuts in the northern city of Hammsen marked the day Vindsavsor gave way to Savsor. While this story is charming, and perhaps has some glimmer of fact, we trace the modern calendar to the reign of Gikirk who united the Dwarven tribes as the Alhberg Kingdom. Gikirk commissioned his sages to study the legends and the stars to understand the movement of time. It is in honor of his most wise mage Darian Runefell that our Darian Calendar gets its name. 

To be sure, there are myths of the time before Vindsavsor – Aptirsavsor – that say Umbranthal was a field of ice, and in those days the peoples of the land scavenged for such meager food as could be found. Alas the time of Aptirsavsor is lost to history, and as such should be excluded from our current study.

Runefell set year One of Savsor as the year in which Gikrik forged the agreement among the many tribes bringing about the Alhberg Kingdom we know today. As the other people’s of the known lands of Umbranthal – the continent we now know as Ulottava – had yet to have the foresight to band together under such agreements the Darian Calendar has come to be universally accepted across all of Ulottuva

In the generations since our Kingdom was formed we have watched as other major powers have come to the fore across Ulottuva. 

To our south, across the Vorfin Mountians lies the Commonwealth, often refered to as the Central Imperium by those of us wise enough to see their crass imperialism for what it is. The current political power of the Imperium is invested in the Praetors: Forbertus, Avin, Otgivan, Ingund, and Aega, humans all. Alas, like so many humans, they take a remarkably short sight view of the impact of their actions on the whole of Umbranthal. While this is disappointing, the consensus among both our scholars and the Elven sages of Faljar is that the brief time humans live must place a psychological limit on their understanding. More’s the pity. Yet the Imperium is to be well regarded for their industry and exploration. While we Alhbergs have enjoyed the bounties of our region and used our time for great invention and storytelling we have never elected to venture far from home. It was only with the Imperium’s discovery of Clausthal in 810 Savsor that we even came to know there was another land, with its own peoples and ways, so close at hand. I shall speak more of this in time.

South of the Imperium lies the Politeia of Faljar, and it’s Elven dominated city-states. With their refined magical schools and fine architects the Elven mages undoubtedly provided much of the early knowledge that enabled the growth of the Imperium. However, much as we, they have found the political forces of the Imperium encroaching on their territories – most notably the disputed region of Habrok. While there is a tenuous peace there now, it is only some two centuries in the past that war between the humans and elves did much damage to that beautiful land over claims to its mineral riches.

This of course brings us to the relatively recent discovery of Clausthal. Explorers from the Imperium set forth looking to see if there were islands they might mine for minerals and gems. These explorers sent back word that some 30 days beyond their western shores lay an uncharted land. This of course prompted expeditions by both the Elves and our own explorers.

By best reckoning, after little more than a century of exploration, Clausthal is estimated to be roughly fifteen percent the size of Ulottuva. To my shame, I know little of the native tribes and clans of Clausthal. The knowledge – if I can even claim such a word applies – I have gained comes from the accounts of travelers, explorers who have spent but a brief time on the shores of Clausthal themselves. It is home to many peoples – including tribes of monstrous races that bear striking resemblance to, but seem to have little in common with, the beasts we civilized people still contend with from time to time across Ulottuva. 

I can say with certainty that at the present most of the continent remains an unexplored wildland. Small cities have developed along the coasts, with each of the Ulottuvian powers exerting influence over the larger of the port cities. The smaller coastal cities, villages, and hamlets are reported to be more independent, having sprung forth as a means of trade, exploration, and communication, as such the relative political affiliations with these colonists and their mother lands seems to be negligible.On balance the native populations seem to welcome the growth of trade and relations with the representatives of the Imperium, the Polietia, and our own Kingdom and a comfortable peace seems to be endure. Of course there is worry in our court that this new land will become contested in the way that Habrok once was because of the reaching hands of the Imperium.